Conservative crusaders against Common Core have found an unlikely ally in the likes of the celebrated stand-up comedian who also wrote Pootie Tang.
OK, maybe it's not fair to introduce Louis C.K. with that movie credit, since his more recent, critically acclaimed work is a world away from Pootie Tang, a movie that he actually hated and calls a big mistake. But I digress: Louis C.K. went on a Twitter rant against Common Core and standardized testing Monday, tweeting that it has tainted his daughters' love of math.
Local tea-party groups around the country have targeted Republicans who support Common Core, campaigning that it's emblematic of big-government interference in state matters. Now maybe they'll start using Louis C.K.'s tweets in their messaging. (It's already picking up some buzz on conservative Michelle Malkin's site Twitchy, which writes, "Well, even a blind squirrel's been known to find a nut every once in a while. Maybe.")
In 2010, 45 states adopted Common Core standards, which are grade-by-grade benchmarks for math and reading. Before that, state standards varied widely, and advocates say the Common Core ensures similar expectations across the board. Some of its biggest advocates do include Republicans, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
Louis C.K., who isn't shy about tackling hot-button issues in his comedy, isn't known as a political comic per se. But he's certainly not a conservative. He has called President Obama a hero of his, telling Vanity Fair, "I love Barack Obama. What a great man. I'm so lucky to have voted for that guy." He also has this NSFW bit making fun of people who say we need fewer environmental regulations in the name of economic growth. And then there's that business of him dropping out from hosting the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner, after conservative complaints of his past comments about Sarah Palin.
But education, more than many other areas of policy, can certainly make for some strange political bedfellows. Louis C.K.'s beef is with how Common Core education standards are being implemented in his daughters' school. Here are a few of his tweets:
My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
A huge amount of my third graders time is spent preparing for and answering questions like this. pic.twitter.com/WU5tEo8JRO— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
Sorry. I sit with my kids as they so their HW they devour knowledge. When it's hard they step up. Their teachers are great— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
But it's changed in recent years. It's all about these tests. It feels like a dark time. And nothing is going in anymore.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
It's this massive stressball that hangs over the whole school. The kids teachers trying to adapt to these badly written notions.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
Okay I'm done. This is just one dumb, fat parent's POV. I'm pissed because I love NYC public schools. mice, lice and all.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 29, 2014